NRS 434VN Topic 2 DQ 2
Compare the physical assessment of a child to that of an adult. In addition to describing the similar/different aspects of the physical assessment, explain how the nurse would offer instruction during the assessment, how communication would be adapted to offer explanations, and what strategies the nurse would use to encourage engagement.
Physical assessment of children differs from adult to child. It is important for the nurse to consider the developmental stage and school-age information when making decisions about their health. Common teaching points are shared with parents or guardians before performing the physical assessment, and the nurse will use young child-friendly language to convey information whenever possible. The nurse will provide positive reinforcement through verbal praise after performing each step of the assessment, while asking the child questions that help nonverbally determine competency in communication skills.
The physical assessment of the child would differ from that of the adult in several ways. First, the examination would begin with a head/neck assessment. For the child, this is important to detect any asymmetry or signs that may be indicative of trauma or disease.
One of the first things a pediatric nurse will do when conducting an assessment is to compare the child against their adult counterpart. We have many similarities and a few differences between the pediatric and adult physical assessments. One of the most prominent differences is in growth and maturation. The first big difference between them is height. While it may seem like common sense that a child who is 10 years old would be shorter than an 18 year old, “height charts” still serve as a helpful guideline for pediatric nurses to determine if the child is developmentally older than their chronological age implies. Also, due to obvious size differences, these children are often assessed on different machines such as stadiometers or scales measuring length instead of weight. The second difference lies in locomotion. Due to developmental differences between adults and children, we rely on different assessment tools to gauge motor skills: ambulatory ability (again, this is dependent on size) sometimes difficult to assess in an infant who can only move by push, pull, drag and carry methods; spontaneous movements exhibited by infants who are just beginning to roll over; or assessing movement in a group of toddlers with use of age appropriate toys and/or sports equipment; gait abilities and developmental disabilities
As pediatric nurses, we are constantly assessing children in their living spaces by evaluating their physical needs. Whether it is a child taking his or her first steps or entering puberty, our assessments seek to elicit the best possible physical ability for each child’s developmental stage. Often times, the assessment will begin with a simple act—the offering of a toy—to further examine fine-motor skills and determine if this child can safely operate certain items that they may encounter at home. This can be dangerous if parents don’t oversee children when they operate items such as blenders on their own. Children need to have proper supervision to ensure safety. As such, children will often times have different precautions than adults when operating items such as blenders. Their safety is paramount and ensuring that they have the opportunity to explore items in a safe environment will increase their lifelong enjoyment of toys and activities that they may encounter later in their lives.
Physical assessment is an important part of diagnosing a patient. The nurse will conduct skin, joint, muscle, and other body assessments that help to gather information about the patient’s health status. After the nurse has completed all assessments, the patient’s diagnosis may be changed. This can be a positive change or a negative one, depending on how the nurse explains it to the child.
What should you do if you have to give a physical assessment of a 12-year-old? This is a popular question that many nursing schools ask during their entrance tests. As a nurse, you will probably encounter young children in every healthcare setting. They may be too young to fully explain themselves to adults, or they may not understand why they are being examined. So how can you handle these patients and provide them with the best possible care?
It is important for a pediatric nurse to be able to complete a physical assessment upon an infant and experience. This is due to some concerns that can unfold as the infant grows old. A few physical assessments will be checked during the infant’s life span. These assessments will cover information about the head for instance, the body- in additon, the genitals and extremities, posture, reflexes and tone, heart and lungs, abdomen, skin color and texture, eyes, ears and nose, mouth and teeth.
The most important aspect of a child’s health is their nutrition status. As a child grows up their body is always changing, and it can be devestating to a child that the way they eat is not healthy for them mentally and physically.